Abdullah the new patron saint for “the truth that is not the truth”?

The Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin was among the Umno Ministers joining Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Prime Minister’s Hari Raya Open House at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

When I shook hands with him, wishing him “Selamat Hari Raya”, I remarked that he has become the spokesman for “the truth that is not the truth”.

Zam knew I was referring to Friday’s Malaysiakini report “Zam to media: No need to tell PM the truth”:

Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin has told editors not to play up negative news because Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s pledge to “hear the truth” does not apply to the media.

Zainuddin said this during a one-hour meeting on Wednesday at the RTM headquarters in Kuala Lumpur with the country’s top editors.

The country’s information czar is one of two top government officials to hold meetings with the media top brass this week.

Yesterday, chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan in another meeting urged media organisations to avoid emphasising on news deemed negative against the government, such as the 2006 Auditor-General’s report.

According to sources, Zainuddin began the meeting by declaring that he would frequently meet editors to advise them about national issues.

However, he stressed that he would only “advise and not give warnings”.

The information minister claimed that he assumed the new role under the instructions of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Zainuddin then explained that Abdullah’s often repeated pledges of “listening to the truth” were only restricted to government officials and Barisan Nasional leaders so as to assist the cabinet in making decisions.

Based on the account by a well-placed source, Zainuddin said Abdullah’s pledge did not mean that the media have the green light to practice unrestrained reporting because certain topics were considered highly sensitive.

Zainuddin added that the cabinet often scrutinises media reports and have noticed that at times, Abdullah’s statements have been misconstrued. However, the minister did not elaborate on this.

The information minister also ticked off two television stations, warning them to stay away from reporting with a racial slant as this could trigger another ‘May 13’ riots.

Zainuddin did not deny the veracity of the Malaysiakini report.

Zainuddin is inconsequential.

What is important is whether Zainuddin was speaking the truth when he claimed that he was instructed by the Prime Minister to inform the media, four years after he had first declared that he wanted to “hear the truth”, Abdullah had not meant the media or the general public but was only referring to Barisan Nasional leaders and government officials.

Has Abdullah become the new patron saint for “the truth that is not the truth”? The Malaysian press and public deserve a direct answer from Abdullah and not through any mouthpiece.

If there is no denial or clarification from Abdullah in the next 24 hours, then we can only assume that Zainuddin was indeed speaking the truth when he spinned to media editors about “the truth that is not the truth”.

In such a case, Malaysians concerned about the latest “tightening of the screws” on the media as well as another reneging of Abdullah’s pledges of reform and greater government openness, accountability and trustworthiness must speak up loud and clear against another national retrogression on the occasion of the nation’s 50th Merdeka anniversary as well as fourth anniversary of Abdullah’s premiership at the end of the month.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 11:55 am

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s pledge to “hear the truth” does not apply to the media. So the media is allowed to publish untruths?!

  2. #2 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 11:58 am

    It is quite strange that the PM’s office has not clarified this matter as it is quite damaging to the PM if this were true.

    Unless the authorities are now practising the concept of.
    “Confuse all. Chaos is good”.


  3. #3 by Godfather on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:05 pm

    What a start to Eid Al-Fitr.

    Let’s continue to cheat, lie and steal.

  4. #4 by Jamesy on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:12 pm

    Abdullah’s pledge for “Let’s Face The Truth” – “We do not want to pretend and say that everything is okay. We do not want to be in a state of denial. Tell the truth, even if it is painful” is just a political sham and gimmick in the highest order.

    Who would want to believe of what he has said in the Gerakan General Assembly meeting recently regarding his statement “Let’s Face The Truth.”?

    Only an idiot would believe such thing.

  5. #5 by Jamesy on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:15 pm

    Pak Lah himself already cannot handle THE TRUTH in front of his face, what more make such statements?

    Nothing but hypocrasy!

  6. #6 by firstMalaysian on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:34 pm

    Since the Ijok ‘buy election’, I have turned to alternative news like Malaysiakini and other foreign news about Malaysia than depending on the local media. The main issue is ‘what is truth?’ ‘where is truth?’ and ‘how to find truth?’ where to get truth?’ in Malaysia.

    ‘Truth’ in Malaysia can be turned into lies, falsehood and deception. Exposing the truth can be punishable in Malaysia like LIm Guan Eng’s case on the ex-CM of Melaka. Telling lies and promoting deception for the benefit of the ruling party can be greatly rewarded.

    When lies are spoken about exodus of members leaving the opposition front ( this will come as GE is drawing closer), you can be sure that it will cover the main story of the media.

    Can and will Malaysians be deceived again? The chances will be high. Let us, therefore, turn to alternative sources for news and educate as many people as possible to use the internet as an alternative source and weigh the truth.

  7. #7 by toniXe on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:36 pm

    this is a direct confirmation of the now out-in-the-open fact that ABB has already gone down under ( pun intended ).
    The little Napoleans he used to joke about have become bigger than him of course , since he’s gone.

    He should now quickly step aside and save a little face perhaps

  8. #8 by Kanninneh on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 1:40 pm

    Have they ever tell the truth…!!! What is truth? Where are truth? Are they ready for truth?

    The top gavmen officials are practically living in cloud 9 and state of denial to think everything is ok. Just for example, how to attain national unity when people are being graded as protected and second class where the latter have to work their heads off than those who are protected to enjoy “durian runtuh” ?

  9. #9 by Jong on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 2:21 pm

    Information Minister, Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin aka Goblok Zam,
    has joined the gang of UMNO grave diggers:

    Paklah Duno – actually, tell me no truth! I want to sleep …zzz!
    Najib Razak of Islamic State fame,
    Nazri Aziz the minister of Tables and Chairs
    Muhammad Taib the propaganda wizard
    Krishammudin Hussein Onn the Keris warrior
    Ali Rustam the MB forpig cruelty fame
    Zakaria Deros the King of Klang and his golden palace
    Bocor MPs – Bung Mohtar Radin and Mohd Said Yusof of Jasin.

    We have enough of them, jangan muda lupa and let’s just push them in!

  10. #10 by Jamesy on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 2:56 pm

    The greatest liar is the one who talks most to himself.

  11. #11 by douglaskk on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 3:29 pm

    Allow me to say a few words.

    I don’t see any newspapers controlled by the opposition apart from Harakah Daily by PAS.

    Why don’t DAP set up it’s own newspapers company so that they can publish it’s own news report?

    Forgive me for my ignorance.

  12. #12 by devilmaster on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 3:35 pm

    “Why don’t DAP set up it’s own newspapers company so that they can publish it’s own news report?” – douglaskk


    Mind you, it is not easy to get permit as you wish.

  13. #13 by Jong on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 3:47 pm

    Haha! They can be most intimidating. KDN will send out “reminders”
    or warning letters from time to time, telling permit holders to observe the conditions of the permit or risk a cancellation. And permits are only for one year, renewable at their whims and fancies. Permits are not free, comes with a rm300 tag(not too sure if amt has been increased).

    This is democracy for Bolehland!

  14. #14 by dawsheng on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 4:09 pm

    The stupid that is not stupid.

  15. #15 by douglaskk on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 4:34 pm

    From my personal observation, DAP has several issues which can be regarded as critical or should I say crowd puller.

    But the major setbacks are:

    1. the difficulties in order to get the message across to the ignorant rakyat;

    2. even so, the rakyat is still in the 50-50 situations and needs more effort to convince them as the ignorant rakyat still listen to the lies of the corrupt gov’t;

    3. hesitancy of the rakyat to adapt to changes and content with the present gov’t

    In this respect, the availability of opposition’s media is very useful in enlightening them of what’s really happening as at present the rakyat are used to media inclined to the gov’t only.

  16. #16 by Justicewanted on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 4:35 pm

    Zainuddin then explained that Abdullah’s often repeated pledges of “listening to the truth” were only restricted to government officials and Barisan Nasional leaders so as to assist the cabinet in making decisions.
    The PM is living in the ivory tower.

    Most of his ministers and aides only tell him what he wants to hear.

    That explains why the PM is still in the ‘sleeping beauty’ land and let hope one day he will wake up from the tidur land and realises that he has been mislead………

  17. #17 by Libra2 on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 4:47 pm

    I would say that the PM is the patron saint ” adopting actions which are diametrically opposed to his pronouncements and promises “.
    In short, he is a fake, a liar, a chameleon.

  18. #18 by Jong on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 5:45 pm

    Here’s another truth for our PM :

    At my keepfit class this evening, a member responding to my sms to get herself registered with EC told me she was shocked to find that her name has been used to register in Johore. She’s in her forties and has not been registered with EC or voted before in her life.

    She approached one MCA guy in Ipoh and he just shrugged off her problem. She has now turned to DAP Ipoh. I hope DAP is taking up her case.

    I wonder if our Prime Minister is interested in such negative reporting of EC’s incompetence?!

  19. #19 by Jong on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 5:48 pm

    She also claimed that she has never worked or resided in Johore. Her life has been spent in Ipoh, Perak.

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 6:30 pm

    At least, in the “Zam to media: No need to tell PM the truth” incidence, Zam is telling the truth which is PM is not interested in the truth, especially truth that does not sound sweet to PM.

    Furthermore, any truthful reporting that exposes Umno’s way of doing business may be interpreted as reporting with a racial slant and to Zam, this could trigger another ‘May 13′ riots. Wow!

    Zam statement just confirmed that we are in the Animal Farm regime. The pigs control everything. We are going to see many more ‘May 13’ headlines as we move near to the next general election.

    All our newspaper editors remind me of the participants of any dog show. Based on a number of criteria, like grooming and being well trained to follow instructions – such as sit, stop, roll over, beg, drool, pissing stance, pretend to be dead – the participants are rewarded with gold, silver, or bronze medals. Similarly, our newspaper editors follow instructions, publish feel-good news and filtered truth, and are rewarded with datukship.

    One saddest truth in Malaysia/Malaya is that after 44/50 years of existence, we still do not have independent national newspapers that dare to speak the truth, without fear and favour. And this will always condemn us in the 3rd World league, regardless of the truth that we may now have a Malaysian in space.

  21. #21 by undergrad2 on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 9:39 pm

    “Has Abdullah become the new patron saint for “the truth that is not the truth”? The Malaysian press and public deserve a direct answer from Abdullah and not through any mouthpiece. If there is no denial or clarification from Abdullah in the next 24 hours…” Kit

    When one neither denies nor confrims, then one cannot be wrong. There is nothing to work on.

  22. #22 by straight talk on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 10:17 pm

    Was he not an editor of a paper before he was roped into politics. Well is it anybody’s guess how he made the grade. Of course by spinning half truths …. and writing about May 13. So as information minister how can he control an honest press.. He will lose his job…. They are all trained by TDM to be half past six.

    So the PM lied about hearing the truth…Well, I believe he has seen and heard the VK tape. Hopefully there is something in the space between his ears to appreciate the truth. So will he act by appointing a Royal Commission to check the rot. Of course not cos his adviser the bodoh Nazri is pulling the strings…While all this is going on the PM & his family is raping the country.

  23. #23 by democratic junkie on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 10:33 pm

    YB lim,

    how was the food? and were there really 200k ppl?

  24. #24 by Rocky on Sunday, 14 October 2007 - 11:17 pm

    telus my foot!!! BN can take a bloody hike. They have lost my vote.

    see where Pak Lah was while Johor was flooded…prihatin Pak Lah!!!


  25. #25 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 12:10 am

    Hello Zam,

    Simply put, mathematically: 1/2 truth= 1/2 lies.


    BN government only tell half the truths and half-truths. The other half of the truths only exposes the ugly, unbearable stink in BN. Therefore, BN has to resort to half-truths (and half-lies) to cover up all those excesses and abuses. (Q.E.D.)

  26. #26 by wits0 on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 3:10 am

    Perhaps they’ve been running short of half truths for some time and starting to use full lies.

  27. #27 by ihavesomethingtosay on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 4:21 am

    please lah………….. he’s the ever diety for insomnia.

    what a fixation he has with michelle.

  28. #28 by kanthanboy on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 5:45 am

    YB Lim, Did you bump into Lingam at the open house? Or he is still dodging the radar. I guess he was at the open house of Fairuz. I pick on him because I realize we are in the danger of entering into Lingam-fatigue. Keep up the pressure and don’t let this issue goes away until a RCI is called.

    It was a true confession by Zainuddin that this BN government has not been telling the truth to the rakyat. YB, if you can ascertain the identity of the party at the other end of the phone with Lingam without the help of any government agency, The PM and DPM who have access to the whole government machinery could have known the truth of the Lingam tape in a matter of hours. My own conclusion is that at the time of the decision to set up the 3-man panel, both Badawi and Najib have already knew that the tape was indeed a true recording of phone conversation between Lingam and Fairuz. From that moment onwards the government has been executing a cover up plan.

    The mindset of the BN leadership is that as long as they can hide the truth from the people, they can remain in power indefinitely by resorting to lies and works of deception to win every GE. They don’t realize that more and more people are now turning to the Internet news. With the spread of Internet to more and more households, the ability of the BN government to hide the truth is being eroded gradually. I believe in 10 years time more that half of the population in Malaysia will have access to Internet news. So, YB Lim, it is feasible that you will have a chance to witness the downfall of this corrupt regime during your lifetime.

  29. #29 by k1980 on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 8:04 am

    To the Sleeping Patron Saint of Space: Maths behind Spaceflight Participant and trained doctors
    ….it costs the equivalent of RM90 million to send our Sheikh into space, though an earlier space tourist paid US$20 million (RM68 million at RM3.40 exchange rate) for the same ride.Assuming that it takes RM500,000 for a 4-year course to train a medical doctor in Russia, then, what glorified one Malaysian would have given us 180 Russian-trained medical doctors who could do more good to the country. That’s multiplier effect to our talent banks and human capital.Simple arithmetics and simple economics.

  30. #30 by chloo on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 8:32 am

    How can the noble and pure Gov rely on the truth from the media which is tainted with corruption, cronism, lies etc, look at how they fed the public with lies like the PKFZ (95% occupancy from MNC, but media went there during public holiday, so did not see the buzz), Comm paid for army contracts (Comm paid so that got 75% discount for the contracts so is a positive), Tsunami victims (Gov must have let them stay in 5 star hotel during the duration while waiting for their new houses), Rioting in Terengganu (the rioters whipped out their MP5s and RPGs, thats why the police had to use live bullets), “Angkasawan” / Passenger (actually doing top secret work to blow up big asteroid to save humanity, not doing teh tarik in space), Altantuya case (she is still alive and well, media must have placed fake evidence)….

    So, this fella talking sense, he knows more than we do…naughty people these media…..

  31. #31 by k1980 on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 8:36 am

    Dollah’s “cosmonaut” compared to the Dowager Empress’s Marble Boat– irresponsible squander of public funds!

  32. #32 by boh-liao on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 9:32 am

    Another truth that PM did not want out in the open. However, the cat is out of the bag:
    Ahemm… (Now) ‘I know what you did last summer’

    I’m sailing
    Sailing with Jean Todt
    And, who knows, maybe also with my Jeannie
    Whom I was a courting then

    Ding, dong, ding, dong, flood in Johor
    What flood in the wide open sea?

  33. #33 by straight talk on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 9:41 am

    This government is based on the lies to glorify themselves. TDM has led the way for 22 years….Now the Bodowi administration is just raised the lies to another level.. The judiciary is in a rot.. when the opportunity is presented in the form of the Lingam tape this Bodowi admin did not have the guts to take it and say Enough is Enough…let no stone be unturned in an effort to clean up.

    Lies, lies and more lies…..look at the latest..”they can’t even know the difference between participant and astronaut.” why the lies..

    Your plead ‘Tell me the truth..no matter how bad it is, let us not live in a state of denial”

    Pa lah do you remember what you said…A man of true integrity is to live and be guided by his own spoken words. However you ignore them. Now you direct you Ministers and Chief Sec of Government to go tell the press not to write the truth….

    Pah Lah you had the opportunity to win the GE hands down but you gutless man had lost the opportunity…

  34. #34 by undergrad2 on Monday, 15 October 2007 - 9:09 pm

    BN politicians have over the many years they have been in control spun so many lies that they can no longer separate the lies from the truth.

    They end up believing their own lies.

  35. #35 by wits0 on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 3:04 am

    BTW, A. Badawi is also another believer in the Goracle of Global Warming. It’s so very fashionable. Now that Al’Gore’s head has swollen with his shared Nobel Prize, it must appear to the PM that the truth about Global Warming has been established. Afterall, Bolehland is led by instituted beliefs over reason.

  36. #36 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 4:02 am

    If you repeat the lies frequently enough, the lies become the truth. When the PM calls for the truth, what he really means is “Tell me more lies so I can hear the truth.”

  37. #37 by wits0 on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 4:24 am

    Wonder whether it occurs to many people that an ex-AG who now sits as chairman of Suhakam(aka SHAM) and the current one have mouths that are physically senget(skewered). Wouldn’t want to sound superstitious but its rather subliminally intriguing to note. Hahaha!
    What a coincident.

  38. #38 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 4:42 am

    I don’t know.

  39. #39 by wits0 on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 5:28 am

  40. #40 by Godfather on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 8:23 am

    These people can’t handle the truth, so there’s nothing surprising about the edict by Zam and his partners in crime.

  41. #41 by sheriff singh on Tuesday, 16 October 2007 - 2:12 pm

    “Abdullah the new patron saint for “the truth that is not the truth”?

    That means, putting it another way, he’s the “Patron Saint of Lies” ? The Christians might see this as an affront on their religion. Maybe not. They are not as fanatical as some others.

    Maybe it should be “Mother of all Lies”? ” Fountain of Lies”? “Liar, Liar”? “Liar of Lies”? “St. Liar”? “Uliar”?

  42. #42 by ktteokt on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 - 1:18 pm

    What truth does he want to hear? Nice sweet talk or the nasty truth? I believe AAB is not blind or deaf and he can see and hear for himself the agonies of the rakyat since he took over premiership. All the empty promises when he first took over, promises of fairness, good leadership, transparency, etc. Where have all these gone to? So, it looks like AAB has turned out to be a conman, in contradiction to Islamic practice in his so-called “Islamic Nation”.

  43. #43 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 - 8:32 pm

    Abdullah Badawi has never from the very start put himself on a mission to search for the ‘truth’ because the ‘truth’ he knows will enslave him. He puts others on that same mission so he could be told of the ‘truth’ and when these same others fail to tell him the ‘truth’, could he be faulted for not knowing the ‘truth’? After all he is the Prime Minister, head of the Executive branch and not the Executive branch.

    Well, Mr Prime Minister. Have you not heard of collective responsibility? Then perhaps you should have studied political science and not Malay and Islamic studies when you’re an undergrad.

  44. #44 by malaysianvoices on Friday, 19 October 2007 - 11:45 am

    It’s not up to him to study Economics, it’s up to the pre – requisite system.He failed statistics and thats why he got all his information blatently wrong.

  45. #45 by fishbuffdragonred on Thursday, 25 October 2007 - 4:03 pm

    Wonder what the johoreans that were affected by the floods earlier this year will feel when they find out their beloved Mr Clean PM is having “shiok shiok” time Down Under sailing with his GF and his buddy Todt while they were left homeless by the thousands.

    What kind of PM is this?????

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